The historic compromise that led to the development of the Workers Compensation Act is based on a contract – while employers are protected from litigation, they must also ensure our workplaces are healthy and safe and that in the event of an injury or death, injured workers and surviving dependents are made whole with timely, full compensation regardless of fault.
While the BC Liberal's were in power major changes were made to the system resulting in weaker health and safety standards, less enforcement and the virtual elimination of just and equitable compensation for injured workers or the surviving dependents of workers killed as a result of going to work.
Our government has an opportunity to restore equity and justice to the system by taking bold action on workplace health and safety and compensation.
It's time to:
1) Improve the WCB governance structure, ensuring that a balanced representation of workers and employers make up the majority of the Board.
2) Restore just and equitable compensation so that injured and ill workers can be assured they will live with dignity above the poverty line.
3) Increase proactive enforcement of health and safety regulations;
4) Strengthen the role and authority of joint health and safety committees and worker representatives to ensure the full, active participation of workers in health and safety;
5) Increase employers’ accountability by
- Raising penalty amounts for employers that fail to comply with health and safety requirements, and
- Ensuring that negligent employers that kill or seriously injure a worker face jail time.